All of us want the safest, most reasonably priced and effective medications we can get for ourselves and our family. Although compounded medicines have existed for centuries, they have recently grown in availability and popularity as more and more people come to recognize the advantages of compounding. Compounded medications combine scientific accuracy with a much more personal approach in which the pharmacist takes a direct hand by offering customized medications to patients.
In the compounding process, pharmacists trained to do this kind of work can – based on a doctor’s prescription – combine the individual ingredients of the prescribed drug to formulate medication that is perfectly tailored to the needs of a particular patient. In doing this, the pharmacist works closely with the patient and the doctor to ensure that the patient’s specific medical requirements are being met. Below are five things you should know about the compounding of medications in pharmacies.
1- Compounded Medications Can Be Much Easier for the Patient to Take
We all know that some medications – particularly the nasty tasting ones – can be very difficult to swallow. Sometimes, this means that patients can find it very hard to actually take the medication at all or to take it as frequently as they should. This can be particularly true with those patients who are infamously picky about what they will swallow, including children, the elderly and even pets. However, compounding pharmacists can create custom prescription medications with a flavor the patient chooses, making it much easier for the patient to take the medication on a regular basis.
2- Compounding Medications Allow Patients Access to Discontinued Drugs
It’s all too common these days for profit-seeking pharmaceutical companies to cease manufacturing drugs that are no longer profitable for them to market. These medications are known as orphan drugs, and this situation can make it difficult or impossible for a patient to find a medication that they have been taking for years.
Obviously, the patient’s need for the medication hasn’t ended simply because the manufacturer no longer chooses to produce it. However, using a compounding pharmacy means a patient can still get access to these medications. The pharmacist is able to replicate such medications so as to ensure that patients can get the care and the medications that they need to maintain their health.
3- Compounding Medicines Can Come in Different Forms
Another advantage of a compounding pharmacist is that he or she can make a given medication in whatever form the patient prefers. For instance, some patients would rather take a medication as a liquid or a chewable tablet, rather than a large pill that they have to swallow. This benefit of compounding pharmacies is particularly important for younger patients, since swallowing pills is one of the primary objections that children have about medications.
Many people don’t realize that some medications can be mixed by compounding pharmacist so that they can be used topically. When making a topical medication, the pharmacist mixes the medication as a gel or a cream so that the active ingredient can be absorbed into the skin and travel directly into the patient’s bloodstream. Also, compounding pharmacists can tailor medications to the precise strength and dosage required.
4- Compounded Medications Are Allergy Safe
Manufactured medicines often contain ingredients that can bring on an allergic reaction in the patient. These ingredients can include alcohol, gluten, lactose, flavorings, dyes and much more. In addition, many commercially manufactured medications contain extra ingredients that are unnecessary in a compounded medication, such as preservatives. Often, such preservatives are not well tolerated by patients. Compounding pharmacies are able to create these same medications without any dangerous additional ingredients.
5- Compounding Pharmacies Offer Additional Services
The much more personal nature of the services provided by a compounding pharmacy is one of its principal advantages. The compounding pharmacist gets to know his or her patients and better understands just what their medical needs are. They will want to know precisely what medications have been previously prescribed, what symptoms the patient has had and whether they have had any negative or allergic reaction to any previous medications. A compounding pharmacist is a partner in a patient’s overall health regiment.